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Play The Seasons: Get Lost in Bleak Winter Tales

Video games create spaces for us to go and play. These spaces are sometimes an escape from the real world. Equally, games can help us revel and celebrate the real world.

This is a list of games that take us into the long dark months. Shorter days and long nights speak of hibernation and survival. Snow and bare branches suggest that all life has left forever.

Whether they task us with resisting this or getting lost in the dark folds of winter, games of this month are a valuable reminder that life continues (often unseen) where it seems almost impossible. With the faintest foolish hope of a tiny bud read for spring.

This list includes 44 games from the last 17 years, with 1,243 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play bleak winter tales.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 1,243
 

 

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hinterland Games (@HinterlandGames)

Players: This is a single player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Price: 21% off

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Stealth

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Insomniac Games (@InsomniacGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

A Short Hike

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Open World

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Adam Gryu (@AdamGryu)

Players: This is a single player game

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Dan Games (@Dan_Games)

Players: You can play this with 5 players online

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

Roki

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Poly Treehouse (@PolyTreehouse)

Players: This is a single player game

Röki is a Scandinavian folklore point-and-click style adventure game where you play Tove on a journey to save her family. As you help her to come to terms with loss, you explore deep into a snowy fairytale landscape with strange locations and creatures.

The Red Lantern

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/10/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Timberline Games (@TimberlineGames)

Players: This is a single player game

The Red Lantern is a personal adventure about making something of your life. You and a team of sled dogs head into the wilderness and must navigate the ever-changing events of the Alaskan bush to find your way home.

Lifeline (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 16/04/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: 3 Minute Games (@3MinuteGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Lifeline is a narrative adventure where you interact with an astronaut, Taylor via text messages. You help him return home after crashing his aircraft on a foreign planet.

Dead by Daylight

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 14/06/2016, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Stealth and Strategy

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Behaviour (@Behaviour)

Players: You can play this with 5 players online

Dead by Daylight is a survival horror game where one player takes on the role of a killer and another other four try and work together to survive. It's unusual because of this asynchronous play and its cross-over with different franchise-inspired themes.

Detroit: Become Human

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 25/05/2018

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: Quantic Dream (@Quantic_Dream)

Players: This is a single player game

This is a branching narrative game from Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This is the third game in the series and offers a more refined version of the filmic branching experience.

Shadow Of The Colossus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Beyond: Two Souls

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 08/10/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3 and PS4

Genres:

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Quantic Dream (@Quantic_Dream)

Players: This is a single player game

Beyond: Two Souls is from the same developer as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain. Although not a series, they follow a similar style and approach. They provide a filmic interactive experience of a story that branches in substantial ways depending on...

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-10 year-olds

Release Date: 01/12/2018

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Draknek (@Draknek)

Players: This is a single player game

A Good Snowman (Is Hard To Build) is puzzle game about being a monster and making snowmen. On each level you must roll your snowballs to be the right size and then position them on each other to make a snowman.

Limbo

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 05/06/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: Android, PS Vita, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Playdead (@Playdead)

Players: This is a single player game

Control a small boy as he runs, jumps and climbs through a dark, silhouetted forest that clanks and hums with foreboding. As the age-rating suggests, he is killed in all manner of gruesome ways. But this is not without reason. Rather than violent...

Never Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/12/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Never Alone Game (@NeverAloneGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

SnowRunner

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 28/04/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Racing and Simulation

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: Tweets Saber (@TweetsSaber)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

SnowRunner is an off-road driving simulation game that follows up MudRunner. You drive all-terrain vehicles to traverse between locations and complete deliveries. You need to use the vehicle's gears, all-wheel-drive, fuel levels and other features to...

Forza Horizon 5 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-18 year-olds

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Racing, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 42 features

Developer: We Are Playground (@WeArePlayground)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 72 players online

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...

Inside

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 29/06/2016, updated in 2018

Price: 75% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Playdead (@Playdead)

Players: This is a single player game

Inside is from the same developer as Limbo. As such, you play another boy in a dark dream-light and horrific world. Here though, it's more modern-day and realistic.

MudRunner

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 31/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World, Racing and Simulation

Developer: Tweets Saber (@TweetsSaber)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

Mudrunner is an off-roading simulation where you drive ageing Soviet vehicles in extreme, muddy and unpaved environments. It's novel because of the simulated driving and that you just have a map and a compass to navigate.

Seasons After Fall

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 02/09/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Swing Swing Sub (@SwingSwingSub)

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons After Fall is a running and jumping game where you traverse through forests in search of the lost spirits of the four seasons. As you progress, you unlock the ability to change the season at will, altering the dynamic of the level and letting...

South of the Circle

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 20/10/2020

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: State of Play (@State_of_Play)

Players: This is a single player game

South of the Circle is a narrative adventure game about, Peter, a Cambridge academic who finds himself fighting for survival in Antarctica during the 1960’s Cold War. You must cross desolate terrain to reach British, Norwegian and Soviet Antarctic...

Chrono Sword

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure and Role-Playing

Developer: David Space Duck (@DavidSpaceDuck)

Players: This is a single player game

Chrono Sword is an adventure game about Aenor, a time traveller attempting to prevent the death of her loved ones. You learn technical combat, explore the world, switch timelines and fight off enemies to discover the secrets of the past.

Frostpunk

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 29/03/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Strategy

Developer: 11 bitstudios (@11bitstudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Frostpunk is a city-building survival game set in an alternate 1886 with a devastating winter setting in. You are tasked with running a city by managing resources to ensure the city’s survival. Your choices can have negative and positive consequences.

Kuro: A Shadow's Dream (Dreams)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/02/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: A Bawnanable (@ABawnanable)

Players: This is a single player game

Kuro: A Shadow's Dream is a running and jumping puzzle game. You play as a boy ninja called Kuro who is chasing a mysterious caped figure through a colourful painted landscape. It's unusual because although you collect special abilities (higher jumps or...

The Longing

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Simulation

Developer: Studio Seufz (@StudioSeufz)

Players: This is a single player game

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Unto The End

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 09/12/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: 2 Ton Studios (@2TonStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Unto The End is a cinematic combat-adventure where the fighting is modelled in a read-and-react style. It requires time to master the unusual system but offers many ways to take on foes. Tactics and intelligent decisions are as important for survival as...

Arise: A Simple Story

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 03/12/2019

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Piccolo Studio (@Piccolo_Studio)

Players: This is a single player game

Arise: A Simple Story is a narrative game about an old man living in a pre-agricultural tribe. He has just been cremated and as get travels to the next life, begins a pilgrimage of revisiting memories of his life.

Darwin Project

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 14/01/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS5 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Shooting

Developer: Darwin Project (@DarwinProject)

Players: You can play this with 11 players online

Darwin Project is a battle royale game like Fortnite. Player fight to collect resources to survive and upgrade their character. As well as surviving in extreme conditions you track opponents and set traps. In addition to the ten players is...

Ord

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 05/06/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Joni Tweets Games (@JoniTweetsGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Ord is an unusual text adventure, rather than one grand story, you embark on a series of distinct quests. Whether it's defeating an evil warlock or creating your own world as a god, Ord tells stories through simple series of words and word associations...

The Falconeer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/11/2020

Platforms: PC, Stadia and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Shooting

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: The Falconeer (@TheFalconeer)

Players: This is a single player game

The Falconeer is an action game where you play a pilot who flies a weaponised falcon through dramatic locations. You battle the rivalling factions to uncover the secrets of long-forgotten gods and ancestors. Although the game-play is all flying and...

This War Of Mine

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: 11 Bit Studios (@11BitStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to maintain health, hunger and mood levels until a...

Climber: Sky is the Limit

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Art Games Studio (@ArtGamesStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Climber: Sky is the Limit is a survival climbing adventure, where you scale the peaks of the highest and most famous mountains in the world. Plan the best route, select the correct equipment and avoid dangerous hazards as you ascend. It's a unique blend...

Cosmic Express

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/05/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Draknek (@Draknek)

Players: This is a single player game

Cosmic Express is a puzzle game where you plan a train route to collect the waiting passengers. Although the game looks super simple, as it progresses you have to also deal with different hazards and requirements for your route.

Deadlight

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 10/07/2012, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Platform

Developer: Tequila Works (@TequilaWorks)

Players: This is a single player game

Deadlight takes the monochrome running, jumping and shooting action in a more mature direction and with a deeper and coherent story. It draws on older (and equally excellent) platform games Another World and Flashback. You control Randall Wayne, a...

Dear Esther

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 14/02/2012, updated in 2016

Price: 80% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Chinese Room (@ChineseRoom)

Players: This is a single player game

In Dear Esther you explore an uninhabited Hebridean island while an old man reads a series of letters to his eponymous deceased wife. Themes of love, loss, guilt and redemption intertwine with the bleak geography and orchestral music. As you explore the...

Degrees of Separation

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 14/02/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Dofs Game (@DofsGame)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Degrees of Separation is a running and jumping game where you control two characters from different seasons, Ember and Rime. Each has different abilities to change the environment and help you to progress: freezing water, melting ice and the like.

Inmost

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 11/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: HLG Team (@HLGTeam)

Players: This is a single player game

Inmost is a running and jumping game with a strong emotional and atmospheric narrative. You uncover a dark and interconnected tale of three playable characters, each with their own unique gameplay styles. An adventurous young girl uncovering the past of...

Omensight

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 15/05/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting, Narrative and Strategy

Developer: Spearhead Mtl (@SpearheadMtl)

Players: This is a single player game

Omensight is a brawling adventure game where you play the role of Harbinger, a mythical warrior who only appears in times of crisis. As night falls, you witness this destruction of the world at the hands of a dark God but can relive this final day to...

Summer Catchers

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/07/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Racing

Developer: Noodle Cake Games (@NoodleCakeGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Summer Catchers is a whimsical adventure about driving across the frozen north to find summer, dodging obstacles and fighting bosses along the way. It's super simple to control but hazards require specific power-up button presses. The trial and error...

Burd

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/03/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Platform

Developer: Crap Weasel (@Crap_Weasel)

Players: This is a single player game

Burd is a jumping and flying game where you play a pixilated bird who can feed worms to a larger bird to save his world. But to get the worms you have to sacrifice eggs. It starts simple but soon feels ominous, dark and questionable. It's an...

Against the Storm

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/10/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Eremite Games (@EremiteGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Against the Storm is a construction-based strategy game where you build outposts, towns and villages in an eternally rainy world. Unlike other city builders, this is a game where you attempt and fail over and over. Each run you use intricate gameplay...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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